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Discussion Starter #1
So here's the deal. I have a set of Mavic SL's on my Look 585. There have been a few days here in So Cal that have had pretty fast winds. Of course they tend to not be tailwinds but either headwinds or sidewinds. The main issue I am having is that I have noticed major control issues when desending or riding at high speed with the SL's.
I don't notice this on my older Equipe's. My bike is in perfect working order so that is ruled out. I has to be the wheels.

A friend of mine suggested a set of Zipp 404's. I thought that they would have the same problem since they have such a deep rim but he swears they are far more stable then the SL's.

So does nayone have real world experience with this situation? I am thinking that the problem I am running into with the SL's is tied to the spokes.
 

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gastarbeiter
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live in the netherlands, have the same problem. if you're think of buying your way out of the problem then i suggest a simple fix - buy a mavic open pro front wheel.

your other option is to work on your bike handling skills ;)
 

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Everyone I ride with who uses Ksyriums (or other wheels with bladed spokes) has the same issue. It's just a function of aerodynamics -- the spokes act as little sails, and when you have a bunch of them together ... well, you see what happens.
 

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same bike??

To make a legitimate comparison, did you ride the equipes on the 585? If not, it doesn't mean much. FWIW, I've ridden nothing but K's for more than 5 years and have no complaints. I just built a new 585 a couple of weeks ago and of course I put my K's on the bike. I ride the Colorado mountains, with plenty of gusty crosswind descents. Crosswinds are never fun, but unless you can somehow swap to different wheels and ride in the exact same wind, it's hard to pinpoint the blame on the wheels. Deep dish rims should be even worse.
 

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The ksyriums spokes are about 3 times as wide as a conventional spoke so add that up to 18 times that on the front and 20 odd on the back, and yes they have a considerable resistance to the wind when it blows sideways. After a while you'll find it negligable though but you'll always benefit from the build quality and aero effect over some others.
 

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C-40 said:
Deep dish rims should be even worse.
I agree with this. I often ride with a lower profile front wheel (american classic 350 front paired with a 420 rear) to deal with the control issues surrounding strong cross winds. Doesn't mean you won't be blown off your bike though;-)

Have you ever been in a cross wind that is so strong it literally takes your breath away? Now that is trippy. You have to turn your head so you can take a breath!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
My friend is actually going to let me ride his Zipp 404's this week and I will see how they feel. I actually think it has far more to do with the bladed spokes than the "wheels" per say. I am curious what catches more sidewind... the spokes or a deep dish wheel. I can understand why the bladed spokes would be worse but I have more than 3 guys who always rode SL's and have now switched to Zipps.

I am starting to wonder if it is a case of justifying a purchase. I mean these guys dropped good money on new wheels. Now they love them, I wonder if it is a coincidence.

Bike handling skills are what saved me from not grinding my but across the road at 50 mph the other day!
 

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So when you guys are talking about handling skills what exactly are you talking about? I ask because I am a very experienced mountain biker with decent skills. But when road riding I am sometimes freaked out by the wobble in the front wheels that sometimes creeps in with the cross winds. And I am not talking about crazy speeds either. The most recent occurence happened at 41mph. Not a good feeling when there are cars flying around you on top of it all.

Any pointers? Thanks!
 

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RoadBikeReview's Member
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serious said:
So when you guys are talking about handling skills what exactly are you talking about? I ask because I am a very experienced mountain biker with decent skills. But when road riding I am sometimes freaked out by the wobble in the front wheels that sometimes creeps in with the cross winds. And I am not talking about crazy speeds either. The most recent occurence happened at 41mph. Not a good feeling when there are cars flying around you on top of it all.

Any pointers? Thanks!
loosen your grip. the more you white knuckle it, the more you'll twist back and forth. it's counterintuitive, but try to relax. make sure you're balanced, it sounds stupid, but at high speed everything's magnified. any little change in balance is noticeable. you can only learn through experience, and eventually you'll learn to lean against the wind as well, such that you wont even think about crosswind wheel wobble - crosswinds become less scary and more a PITA.
try riding in flats where there are gusts of wind - that's one advantage of living in plains, such as illinois; there are heavy winds and you're able to practice fighting a 30mph crosswind at 14mph.
-estone2
 

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Open Pros

Open Pros are the most under-rated quality wheels out there, and a bargain as well. It's not hard to find a set for just over $200 with Ultegra hubs. You might like them so much, you'll never bother with expensive botique wheels again.
 
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